Left to right -
1 Shirley Ingle 2 Pamela Hitchen 3 Dorothy Lawrence 4 Irene Furze 5 Jean Edgar 6 Marjorie Keane 7 Eileen Goodall 8 Anne Leat
9 Pearl Gamble 10 Gwyneth Hughes 11 Brenda Greenwood 12 Muriel Kear 13 Jean Hunter 14 Pat Lilywhite 15 Margaret Duncan 16 Janice Henderson 17 Janet Goodhill
18 Avril Johnson 19 Valerie Garside 20 Marjorie Green 21 Kathleen Lamb 22 Pauline Fisher 23 Jean Lowe 24 Barbara Dunlop 25 Judith Goode 26 Olga Hammond 27 Jean Gedge 28 Celia Long
“Christmas always brings back happy memories of my days at Lawnswood High School, especially my being in the school choir, and the wonderful Carol Services we had. But I also have a very unhappy memory of my first term and Christmas that I had there. In my form upper three two, I had been separated from the other girls that I knew from my previous schools. Only one or two of my friends actually came to Lawnswood, most of my ‘best’ friends chose Thoresby High School, and at that time I passionately wished that I had too. I had no one to go around with as I was very shy in those days and the other girls in my form all seemed to have a friend.
... “That first Christmas, the day before we broke up for our holidays, we were told to bring our Christmas cards /presents and put them in the appropriate baskets lined up in the corridor opposite the staff rooms, and that they would be delivered during the morning to our form room, they called it the ‘Christmas Post’. I remember excitedly writing and then ‘posting’ a card for all the girls in my form. When the messenger arrived with the basket, Mrs. Hindmarsh our form teacher started to read out the names on the cards and presents, and the girls went forward to receive them. I waited in my desk and slowly my heart began to sink. My name was not called out once. No one in the form had sent me a card and I think that was the most humiliating experience I have ever had. I saw one or two of the girls whispering and looking at me, but I put on an air (I hoped) of nor caring until I got home that afternoon.
... “After Christmas when we went back to school, I hated it. My work began to suffer and I became, I know now, quite withdrawn. Then suddenly, thanks to one girl whom I shall never forget, or her act of kindness, altered all that.
... “We had been swimming, and I had got changed and was coming out of my cubicle when a head popped over the one next door. She started chatting and she said to me that she noticed I didn’t go around with anyone. I said no I didn’t, so then she said with a huge smile would you like to play with us? I will always remember those words with gratitude.
... “I was so happy and delighted; I walked back to the form room with her, and then joined her and her friends for dinner.
... “Well that was the turning point of my life at Lawnswood. I made lots of lovely new friends and was very happy again.
... “The girl was called Olga Hammond, she had the singing voice of an angel, and to me she was one. If ever she reads this I hope that she realises how much she changed a little girls miserable life to a happy one.”
Pamela Hitchen ’49-? (I’m second left on back row!)
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